Papa Wemba

Papa Wemba, actually Jules Shungu Wembadio Pene Kikumba (* 1949 in Lubefu, Kasai, Belgian Congo ), is a singer and one of the most popular musicians in Africa.

Life and musical career

Papa Wemba was next Nyoka Longo Jossart, Pepe Felly Manuaku, Evoloko Lay Lay, Teddy Sukami, Zamuangana Enock, Mavuela Simeon and the other one of the first musicians that joined the influential Soukous band Zaiko Langa Langa when she in on December 24, 1969 Kinshasa ( capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo) was founded.

In December 1974, at the height of their popularity, and only a month after the Rumble in the Jungle between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman in Kinshasa, left Shungu Wembadio ( Papa Wemba ), Evoloko Lay Lay, Mavuela Somo and Bozi Boziana, which is Zaiko Langa Langa had one years earlier connected, Langa Langa Zaiko to build their own music group Isifi Lokole. ISIFI stands for Institut de savoir pour la Formation of Ideologique Idoles.

In July 1975 Shungu Wembadio officially adopted his stage name Papa Wemba. Here, the addition of " Papa," an allusion to his family duties as a first-born son should be, his parents were dead in the 1960s.

The formation Isifi Lokole consisted of only one year. Her biggest commercial success was the single Amazone ( Papa Wemba ). In November 1975, Papa Wemba Somo and Bozi Mavuela Boziana of Evoloko Lay Lay and Isifi Lokole parted to the group Yoka Lokole, also known as The Kinshasha All-Stars to start with Mbuta Mashakado. Yoka Lokole had somewhat less success than the original Isifi Lokole - anyway they could with hits like Matembele Bangui, Lisuma ya Zazu ( Papa Wemba ), Sala Keba Mavuela and Bana Kin ( Mavuela Somo ) keep at the forefront of African pop music.

As Isifi Lokole held the formation Yoka Lokole (The Kinshasha All-Stars ) not last long. After a year of modest success prompted disputes within the band Yoka Lokole money and prestige ( to have with Wembas detained in the central prison in Kinshasa in December 1976 for the "crime " of having been suspected as intimacies with a daughter of General in the army exchanged the situation not easily made ​​) prompted Papa Wemba, his own music group Viva la Musica in February 1977 to set up.

In his house in Matonge district in Kinshasa founded Viva la Musica Papa Wemba. He has worked with young talented musicians, including singers Kisangani Esperant, Jadot le Cambodgien, Pepe Bipoli and Petit Aziza and the guitarist Rigo Star, Syriana, and Bongo turn. The group had hits such as Mere Superieure, Mabele Mokonzi, Bokulaka, Princesse ya Sinza and other almost instant success.

At the height of his success in 1977 the house of Papa Wembas family was a popular meeting place for young people in Matonge. It was called Village Molokai, and Wemba assumed the upscale nickname Coutumier chief of the Village of Molokai. During this time there was talk of Papa Wemba as the chief from the heartland (village ) to distinguish him from Kinshasa -born great musicians Mavuela Somo and Mashakado. Years later Mavuela will say that their disputes arose only from trivialities such folly by money, fame and aspiration between very young people (which they were at that time ).

Since 1977, La Musica Viva is subject to constant change musicians. Young talents such as King Kester Emeneya (1977-1982), Koffi Olomide (1978-1979), Djuna Djanana (1978-1981), Dindo Yogo (1979-1981), Maray - Maray (1980-1984), Lidjo Kwempa (1982 - 2001), Reddy Amissi ( 1982-2001 ), Stino Mubi ( 1983-2001 ) are among the currently well-known Congolese musicians who played along for a while with Viva la Musica.

An old Kinshasa anecdote told by a student named Antoine Agbepa Koffi, who was such a gifted songwriter (Songwriter ), that one day in 1977 Papa Wemba exclaimed: Ooh! l' homme idee ( Oh! The idea man! ) which gives on the spot earned the nickname Olomide.

After the wave of African immigration to Europe in the 1990s, Wemba maintained a band in Kinshasa (then called nouvelle ecriture and Nouvel Ecrita and today again Viva la Musica ) and another one in Paris ( Nouvelle Generation, La Cour des Grands, today: Viva Tendance ). Even in the world music he made with big hits such as L' Esclave (1986 ), Le Voyageur, Maria Valencia (1992 ), Foridoles, Dixième Commandement (1994 ), Emotion ( 1995), Pole Position (1996 ), Fula Ngenge (1999 ), Bakala dia Kuba (2001) and Somo Trop (2003) a permanent name.

In many places you can see Wemba (similar also Luambo Franco, Tabu Ley Rochereau and Miriam Makeba ) as a living legend of African music.

Papa Wemba is also known as an actor. In 1987 he played the male lead of the successful Zairean ( Congolese ) film La Vie est Belle Belgian director Benoit Lami and the Congolese producing director Ngangura Mweze.

Cross-cultural influence

  • Priyan Weerappuli, the head of the musical group Pahan Silu from Sri Lanka, called Papa Wemba as one of his biggest musical influences.



  • Pauline (1970, Langa Langa Zaiko )
  • L' Amoureux Decu (1972, Langa Langa Zaiko )
  • Mete la Verite, Chouchouna (1973, Langa Langa Zaiko )
  • Liwa ya Somo (1973-1974, Langa Langa Zaiko )
  • Ainsi Va La Vie, Amazone (1975, Isifi Lokole )
  • Matembele Bangi, Lisuma ya Zazu (1976, Yoka Lokole )
  • Mere Superieure, Bokulaka, Mabele Mokonzi, Muana Molokai (1977 )
  • Princesse ya Senza, Fleur Betoko, Zouga - Zouga (1978 )
  • Anibo, Ata Nkale (1979 )
  • Levre Rose (1979, with Rochereau & Afrisa )
  • Telegrams (1979, with Simaro Massiya & OK. Jazz )
  • Analengo (1980 ) Amena (1980, duet with Pepe Kalle )
  • Santa, Matebu (1980, first full album in Paris)
  • Melina La Parisienne, Ufukutano (1981 )
  • Evenement, Rendre A Caesar (1982 )
  • Eliana, Bukavu Dawa (1983 )
  • Proclamation (1984, in Paris with Ngashie Niarchos )
  • Destin ya Moto (1985 )
  • L' esclave, Papa Wemba - au Japon ( live) ( 1986)
  • Papa Wemba Ekumani (1987 )
  • M'fono Yami (1989 )
  • Biloko ya Moto - Adidas Kiesse (1991 )
  • Le Voyageur (1992 )
  • Foridoles (1994 )
  • Emotion ( 1995)
  • Pôle Position ( 1996)
  • Wake-Up (1996, duo with Koffi Olomide )
  • Nouvelle ecriture (1997)
  • Molokai (1998)
  • Nouvelle ecriture dans L (1998)
  • Fula Ngenge (1999)
  • Muana Matebu (1999)
  • A La Une (2000)
  • Zea (2001)
  • Bakala Dia Kuba (2001)
  • Somo Trop (2003)
  • Muana Molokai (2004)
  • Ba Zonkion (2005)
  • Bravo l' Artiste (2006)
  • Kaka yo (2008)
  • Somo trop (2008)
  • In the Back (2010 )